OVER 30 teams are expected to tee off at the annual Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching (VFAPU) Golf Day fundraising tournament to be held in Harare.
Leonard Ncube Sports Reporter
The tournament is organised by hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) and last year raised US$44,000 which was used towards the costs of running the VFAPU such as the scouts’ salaries, repairs and maintenance of equipment, as well as fuel and field equipment.
The tournament will be held at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Course in Harare on September 15, offering golf enthusiasts the opportunity to help conserve Zimbabwe’s wildlife.
VFAPU head of operations manager Charles Brightman appealed to golf enthusiasts and citizens in general to come out and enjoy the sport and play a vital role in wildlife conservation.
He said there is also an opportunity for businesses or individuals to support VFAPU by sponsoring a hole or putting up gin tents during the event.
“Thirty two teams will tee off for charity.
“Supporters may also sponsor a scout or donate funds and/or equipment to VFAPU.
“The VFAPU Golf Day will also have lunch, drinks, evening snacks and an auction, as well as some incredible prizes up for grabs.
“Funds raised through this annual event are vital in ensuring that VFAPU’s work conserving the wildlife and natural resources within a 50km radius of Victoria Falls could continue.
“Africa Albida Tourism’s VFAPU Golf Day has made a great difference in easing the pressure and challenges faced when trying to keep the unit operational. This event, over the years has been such a great boost for the whole team at VFAPU,” he said.
The organisers have said equipment donations of items such as bicycles, Land Rover tyres, boots, LED flashlights and cell phones with 4G capabilities are welcome.
AAT chief executive Ross Kennedy said the task of looking after wildlife and conserving the natural environment in Zimbabwe and in the region needed to be taken on with clarity and energy, ensuring that VFAPU’s fantastic work over the last 24 years was maintained.
“We are very proud to be part of this process and the incredible work VFAPU does and your support remains important to those who do the work in the field and who commit a large chunks of their professional lives, energy and knowledge to it,” Kennedy said.
VFAPU is working with other stakeholders in Victoria Falls and the region to combine their efforts to maximise the benefits to conservation and the wildlife.
Kennedy urged everyone to support the tournament and every single dollar raised goes straight to the VFAPU Trust.
AAT handles all the administrative costs of the fundraiser.
In June, Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality group, African Sun Limited (ASL) donated US$21 000 to VFAPU to help in wildlife conservation activities.
The money was channelled towards game scouts’ salaries and medical aid, to promote anti-poaching activities.
VFAPU has been playing a critical role in fighting poaching in and around Victoria Falls.
Last year alone, the VFAPU scouts arrested 91 poachers, removed 590 snares and rescued and rehabilitated 24 mammals injured in snares.
The unit noted with concern the prevalence of poaching activities after 34 animals were found dead on separate days.
Since VFAPU was established in 1999, the unit has arrested nearly 1 000 hardened poachers, removed almost 31 000 wire snares from their area of patrol and rescued 430 mammals injured in snares, treating them and releasing them back into wild.
VFAPU, which works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, police and Victoria Falls City Council, has 16 scouts patrolling seven days a week.